Highways and Shipping Projects Launched in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari, along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, laid the foundation stone for four National Highways projects worth Rs 1121 crore and several shipping projects worth Rs 200 crore in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in events at Port Blair, Diglipur and Baratang.

The highways projects for which foundation stone was laid include construction of 26 km of NH between Beodnabad- Ferrargunj at a cost of Rs 170 crore and 56 km of NH between Austin Creek and Kalra Junction at a cost of Rs 410 crore.

In addition, foundation stone laid for construction of Middle Strait Creek Bridge and Humphrey Strait Creek Bridge at estimated cost of Rs 262.97 crore and Rs 277.17 crore respectively.

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is handling highways work amounting to Rs 6330 Crore in A&N Islands. Much of these works pertain to rehabilitation and upgradation of NH-4.

On the Shipping side an Alternate Sea Route to Baratang Island was launched. The project has been completed at a cost of Rs 45.16 crore and aims to improve connectivity of the island from Port Blair, reduce traffic on the route which passes through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve, thus promoting tourism without disturbing the tribal areas.

The Ministers also laid the foundation stone for Extension of Wharf in Hope Town, Port Blair by 200 meters at an expenditure of Rs 17.49 crore. The Wharf is used by Indian Oil Corporation for discharging LPG and other petroleum products.

The extension of jetty would allow berthing of bigger vessels of upto160 meter length and higher capacity. This will help in increasing availability of LPG cylinders in the area while reducing logistic costs.

In addition to this, foundation stone was also laid for construction of Additional Approach Jetty, extension of Berthing Jetty & Dredging in front of Jetty, Neil Island at a cost of Rs. 38.19 Crore and extension of existing New Dry Dock – II in Port Blair at a cost of Rs 96.24 Crore.

In addition to the above, shipping facilities in the inter- island sector are being augmented. New vessels are being constructed across various categories at a total cost of about Rs 1350 Crore. Total 25 ships are proposed for acquisition by the A&N Administration.